Rice millers in Krishna district have stopped purchase of paddy from farmers because of a new procedural red tape introduced by the Civil Supplies Department.

The Civil Supplies Department has made it mandatory for the millers to collect several details from the farmers and have them verified by either the sarpanch, ward member or panchayat officer and get a form signed by them.

Millers claim that the farmers in the district prefer to sell their paddy to them as they pay Rs. 25 more per 75 kg. bag than the paddy purchase centres. At the PPCs, farmers are being paid an MSP of Rs.1,118 for ‘A' grade paddy and Rs.1,080 for common grade.

The district administration has established 112 PPCs in association with Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS), Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to instil confidence among the farmers and prevent them from resorting to distress sale.

While the presence of large number of PPCs is pushing the rice millers to compete amongst themselves and make attractive offers to farmers, the restrictions placed by the Civil Supplies Department have made the millers stop purchasing paddy.

The pro-forma requires farmers to provide mobile and landline numbers, FAQ (fair average quality) of paddy, variety of paddy, the MSP the produce attracted, and money paid to each farmer.

In practice, small farmers do not go to the miller at all. A middleman collects their produce and hands it over to the miller saving them transport charges.

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